EDINBURGH 2017 - BWW Review: ORDINARY DAYS, C royale
Ordinary Days is an original musical portrayal of four New Yorkers whose lives intersect as they search for fulfillment, happiness, love and cabs. When the ever-optimistic Warren finds Deb's most precious possession - the notes to her graduate thesis - the two unwittingly start a chain of events which not only change their lives, but also the lives of fellow New Yorkers Claire and Jason.
Since being presented at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Festival of New Musicals in 2008, composer and lyricist Adam Gwon's intricate and moving piece has enjoyed a number of productions in the UK, including a memorable 2011 run at London's Trafalgar Studios starring Julie Atherton and Daniel Boys.
With a cast of four plus one pianist, this through-sung work demands performances of the highest quality, and this is exactly what it gets here from Streetlights, People! Productions.
West End actress Kirby Hughes shines as Claire, who is hesistantly embarking on a new stage of her life with keen boyfriend Jason (the equally strong Alistair Frederick), whilst finding it difficult to let go of her past. Hughes' performance of the headline song "I'll Be Here", which has been recorded by the likes of Audra McDonald (on her 2013 album "Go Back Home"), cannot fail to bring more than one tear to the eye.
Nora Perone (Deb) and Neil Cameron (Warren) are well-matched as the unlikely younger couple who meet under the most coincidental of circumstances, and both Perone and Cameron suitably portray the hesistancy of young love.
It's a delight to see this compelling work performed with such conviction and talent, and with no weak link. Musical Director Kris Rawlinson is undoubtedly the fifth star of the show, playing keyboards continually for 70 minutes. Indeed, immediately after two of the daily performances, Rawlinson was whisked across the city to accompany Rachel Tucker in her solo concert, which started a mere 15 minutes after Ordinary Days ended!
A production of Ordinary Days usually requires some retrieval of props from the audience seating at the end, and it's testament to the cast's commitment that, around 30 seconds after the curtain call, they're out to do this themselves. Another welcome touch is a complimentary 20 page colour programme, with full biographies of the cast and creative team, and a plethora of production photographs.
This high quality production combines a talented cast with memorable lyrics and a beautiful score, and is very highly recommended indeed.
Ordinary Days runs at C royale, George Street until August 28 (not 15) at 8.55pm.